On Sept. 30th Hollaback! Boston released the State of the Streets Report. Modeled after a similar study conducted by sister organization Hollaback! Ottawa, the report offers statistical information concerning street harassment in the Boston area.
According to the Hollaback! Boston website, street harassment is “a form of sexual harassment that takes place in public spaces.” The report, which compiles data collected from 543 respondents over a one month period, shows that 87 percent of women report having been harassed. 90 percent of people identifying as LGBTQIA report harassment, as do 94 percent of respondents identifying as persons of color.
Hollaback! Is a nonprofit grassroots organization with branches in over 20 countries. The organization seeks to raise awareness of street harassment while helping communities and individuals develop strategies to combat it.
Hollaback! Boston was founded in 2011 by Britni de la Cretaz and Kate Ziegler. Working with three other coordinators and a team of volunteers, the Boston branch has managed to provide a variety of services to their community. They offer workshops, compile stories of harassment, and create community initiatives such as I've Got Your Back, Take Back the Bar, and Safer Spaces.
The State of the Streets report is another step towards providing outreach programs tailored to the Boston area. According to Kate Ziegler
the responses we received will be guiding our programming choices in the coming year. We now know more about our audience and their challenges and experiences than ever before, and we can plan workshops, events and campaigns to meet their needs. …we do hope that our published results will help raise general awareness of street harassment as an issue, and that more victims of street harassment will be made aware of our existence, of the resources we have to offer, and of the fact that they are not alone, nor are they to blame. We hope to partner to expand research, policy and campaigns against street harassment throughout greater Boston, and our report is a starting point for those discussions.